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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Before You Vote, Some Other Things to Consider | FanGraphs Baseball

This isn’t your grandpa’s MVP debate.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 26, 2017 at 11:36 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards and honors, mvp

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   1. DL from MN Posted: September 26, 2017 at 02:58 PM (#5539387)
For MMP voting this isn't over until the postseason results are in.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: September 26, 2017 at 05:27 PM (#5539496)
uggh, an advocate for WPA..... I wish I would have realized that this article was going to go off the rails or I wouldn't have read the first half. (actually reading the rest of the article, it's not a horrible view point he's trying to bring to the table, so I should cut him some slack, but I'm me.)

This is the part where he saved the article.


You can be the most valuable player in a league and the least clutch. Clutch and WPA/LI are just offensive measures. But in close races, voters ought to drill deeper.


I support the 'what happened' argument, but war, ops+ and others measure that. And I have no problem with using wpa as a tie breaker or another piece of the puzzle, since we always say that war is the beginning of the discussion, not the end of the discussion.
   3. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: September 26, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5539511)
Sure, but WPA shouldn't even be a part of the discussion. A run scored or prevented in the first matters just as much as one in the ninth. Close and late is more exciting, not more important. We've been over this a million times folks.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: September 26, 2017 at 06:18 PM (#5539526)
The AL race is quite interesting as there are a few MVP "traditions" competing against one another. Usually the award goes to a non-slugger only in a season when there's no obvious slugger candidate. This year started off with Trout as the presumed favorite (cuz he's Trout) but Judge emerged almost immediately. Altuve and Correa also got reasonable early attention with the Astros' fast start but I don't think either would have made it then.

Of course Trout and Correa got hurt and Judge had his big slump. Altuve was the last one standing and his team had the best record in the AL. Giving the MVP to the smallest player in a season when the most HRs were hit -- no way reporters could resist that even if he didn't deserve it. He was the presumptive candidate by mid-late August. And usually when everybody knows who the MVP is at that point, that guy will win. But of course Judge has come storming back and the Indians now have the best record and have probably established themselves as the best team in the AL (it's not even close by WAA).

I'm still guessing it will be Altuve with Judge having the consolation RoY available.

The NL is its own mess of inherently contradictory MVP traditions. Stanton leads in WAR but plays for an also-ran. Votto's just behind him but his team is even worse. The best playoff-bound candidates are two pitchers on the same team (Scherzer and Gio) and a guy who plays in Coors (Arenado). The defending champ Bryant is there in WAR terms but not in HR/RBI terms and even if he deserves one, Kris Bryant is never going to be given an MVP based on all-around play. Nobody on the Dodgers has made it to 6 WAR.

So it's probably Stanton easily which is a vote we can remember when they next screw Trout for missing the playoffs. The CYA should be a battle between Scherzer and Kershaw. Scherzer leads in WAR where Kershaw falls well short but Kershaw leads in ERA and wins. (League leader in IP? Jeff Samardzija of course!) Those are bWAR, fWAR is up to you. RoY goes to Bellinger.

By the way, by WAA, it's Nats with a slim lead over AZ and LAD. All of AZ's 17 WAA and 13.5 of the Nats' 17 WAA is from their pitchers. The Dodgers are more balanced and lead the league in WAApos while the Cubs are all offense (3rd in WAApos). Colorado is only the 7th best NL team by WAA with strong pitching and lousy position players.

On the article, it's fine but in the end just a summary. The point is to discuss other things to consider than WAR but it doesn't provide any real insight on how to get to the decision. Basically, it argues for basing the award on what actually happened (i.e. less FIP-based) but then has the statement that cfb quoted that essentially means you can still weight WAR vs clutch vs whatever however you want to define "value."
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 26, 2017 at 06:54 PM (#5539538)
The AL MVP race may be so close that the performance of Altuve & Judge over the remaining games might make the difference. Six games for each, but neither is likely to play them all. The Yankees still have to clinch the 1st WC, and are also alive to win the Division, while the Astros are still battling for the #1 seed. That could all be wrapped up in a couple of days, or not. Could be fun, kind of like watching two guys fighting for the batting title, but neither one knows the precise formula.
   6. BDC Posted: September 26, 2017 at 08:20 PM (#5539566)
it's probably Stanton easily

56 was the NL home run record for so long that I look at today's "57" and say yikes, even though it's at this time tied for 9th on the NL single-season leaderboard.
   7. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 26, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5539572)
Wasn't aware of this. From ESPN:
Jose Altuve was hit on his left forearm in Monday's win for the Astros and left the game, but X-rays were negative and he has only a contusion. He's sitting on 199 hits as he tries to reach 200 for the fourth season in a row, but don't surprised if he sits a game or two with the postseason looming. If so, that gives Aaron Judge a couple games to hit some more home runs and gain ground in the MVP race.

Not in the lineup tonight. Getting Altuve healthy for the playoffs is obviously the priority, but this might have some award impact if it's actually super close.
   8. BDC Posted: September 26, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5539585)
I saw Altuve hit last night (I stayed for the whole dragged-out 11-2 Astro victory) – he seemed fine just after the HBP and eager to shake it off, but they removed him from the game as a precaution and there's no reason for him to play this week.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:16 PM (#5539629)
Sure, but WPA shouldn't even be a part of the discussion. A run scored or prevented in the first matters just as much as one in the ninth. Close and late is more exciting, not more important. We've been over this a million times folks.


He talks about WPA/LI which eliminates some of the problems with WPA.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:20 PM (#5539636)
I still like WPA. It may just be an excitement index, but the idea is still really cool.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:28 PM (#5539646)
I still like WPA. It may just be an excitement index, but the idea is still really cool.


I know I'm perceived as one of the resident anti-WPA guy, but my problem with WPA is not that I hate it, it's that I hate how it was being used. WPA is probably a better version of RBI, and does a better job of telling people what they think RBI is telling them. In that context it has some use. As a storytelling device it has use, but using it as the first piece in a discussion of MVP, which is what some people were doing (at the sabr convention in St Louis, someone in one of the discussions tried to argue that it was the end all of stats, at the time War was still just gaining a foothold, and his argument was that wpa was going to win out the war/vorp/win shares battle.)
   12. Leroy Kincaid Posted: September 27, 2017 at 06:22 AM (#5539847)
"Drill deeper" usually means looking at smaller and smaller samples until you find something that suits your argument.
   13. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 27, 2017 at 07:06 AM (#5539852)
That's not what she said.
   14. Russ Posted: September 27, 2017 at 07:27 AM (#5539854)
Sure, but WPA shouldn't even be a part of the discussion. A run scored or prevented in the first matters just as much as one in the ninth. Close and late is more exciting, not more important. We've been over this a million times folks.


This is simply not true with respect to winning baseball games. The causal effect of scoring runs on the probability of winning most certainly depends on the context. Now it may or may not correspond to a repeatable skill and WPA may or may not accurately measure that effect, but runs are not worth the same when it comes to winning given the current game context.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 27, 2017 at 09:02 AM (#5539896)
I generally like Sawchik as a writer, but he's way off base here.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2017 at 09:18 AM (#5539905)
there's no reason for him to play this week.

Well, you don't want him going a full week without live at bats going into the playoffs.
   17. Bote Man Posted: September 27, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5539909)
The best playoff-bound candidates are two pitchers on the same team (Scherzer and Gio) and a guy who plays in Coors (Arenado).

Whatever you do, don't look at Anthony Rendon's performance.
   18. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: September 27, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5539910)
This is simply not true with respect to winning baseball games. The causal effect of scoring runs on the probability of winning most certainly depends on the context. Now it may or may not correspond to a repeatable skill and WPA may or may not accurately measure that effect, but runs are not worth the same when it comes to winning given the current game context.

Agreed. I don't care much about WPA (and its variants) for determining how good someone is, but it does it play a role in assessing how valuable their contributions were.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 27, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5539916)
I don't care much about WPA (and its variants) for determining how good someone is, but it does it play a role in assessing how valuable their contributions were.


The MVP ballot instructions explicitly define value as "strength of offense and defense". Nothing about clutch play or situational value in there. So while people are welcome to think that the instructions should consider that sort of thing, they need to at the same time recognize that they don't.
   20. Baldrick Posted: September 27, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5539930)
This is simply not true with respect to winning baseball games. The causal effect of scoring runs on the probability of winning most certainly depends on the context. Now it may or may not correspond to a repeatable skill and WPA may or may not accurately measure that effect, but runs are not worth the same when it comes to winning given the current game context.

Runs produced in close games might 'matter' more than ones produced in lopsided ones. But that's not what WPA tells us.

From a 'winning baseball games' perspective, no one cares whether you scored the 1 run in your 1-0 victory in the first or last inning. But WPA rewards those MUCH differently.
   21. Shock Posted: September 27, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5539932)
The MVP discussion is absolutely a correct, and possibly only, use of the wpa/li metric. I am baffled that anyone could think otherwise. I think it is perfectly fine to use it as the starting point of an MVP discussion.

A player with a great ops+ or war but terrible wpa/li did not actually add much meaningful value in terms of influence on his team's results. I don't see how that is an arguable point.

It is all luck of course, and not a predictive metric by any means, but when voting for an MVP it makes perfect sense to take it into account.

And yes, we are talking about wpa/li, not raw wpa which is absolutely worthless. Stop trying to shift the discussion to raw wpa so you can sink some easy baskets. Nobody cares about raw wpa.

I haven't rtfa.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 27, 2017 at 10:16 AM (#5539938)

A player with a great ops+ or war but terrible wpa/li did not actually add much meaningful value in terms of influence on his team's results. I don't see how that is an arguable point.


It's arguable b/c the player may have driven in tons of runs early in close games, leading to lots of wins, but stunk late in close games.

If player A hits a first inning home run in game his team wins 1-0, while player B hits a 9th inning HR in a game his team wins 1-0, they both added equal wins to their team, but B gets way more WPA.
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 27, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5539941)
There is a great parody Twitter account out there right now: Past Fangraphs


Past Fangraphs‏ @pastfangraphs 29 minutes ago

(1981) Fernandomania is costing the Dodgers a year of control



Past Fangraphs‏ @pastfangraphs 21 hours ago

(1999) Ruben Rivera is finally breaking out



Past Fangraphs‏ @pastfangraphs Sep 23

(1987) How we got smart and stopped overpaying free agents
   24. Ithaca2323 Posted: September 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5539979)
If player A hits a first inning home run in game his team wins 1-0, while player B hits a 9th inning HR in a game his team wins 1-0, they both added equal wins to their team, but B gets way more WPA.
Or when Player A hits a home run to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win, and everyone is raving about how clutch he is, and no one mentions that, had he not hit into a bases-loaded double play in the second, they might not have been down 4-3 in the first place.

   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 27, 2017 at 04:14 PM (#5540346)
A player with a great ops+ or war but terrible wpa/li did not actually add much meaningful value in terms of influence on his team's results. I don't see how that is an arguable point.


As I noted a couple of posts ago, the ballot instructions for the award explicitly define "value" as "strength of offense and defense", and don't say anything about viewing the player's accomplishments within a team-specific context, so that seems to be where your analysis is going off the track.
   26. Leroy Kincaid Posted: September 27, 2017 at 04:37 PM (#5540356)
WPA seems like putting the cart before the horse. Coming through in a "clutch" or "high-leverage" situation is no more important than creating those situations.

EDIT: Had the horse/cart thing backwards.
   27. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5540387)
It's arguable b/c the player may have driven in tons of runs early in close games, leading to lots of wins, but stunk late in close games.


-------------


If player A hits a first inning home run in game his team wins 1-0, while player B hits a 9th inning HR in a game his team wins 1-0, they both added equal wins to their team, but B gets way more WPA.


But we are talking WPA/LI, not raw WPA. WPA/LI eliminates much of that. From bb-ref description of the two...


WPA/LI Situational Wins. Sum of each play's WPA divided by the play's leverage index. SUM(WPA/LI) for all plays. This is similarly scaled to WPA, but removes the context from the outcome, so for this stat a player with 30 home runs all in blowouts would look very similar to a batter with 30 home runs all in tie games. They would look much different in WPA. Generally used for a season or career.


I don't really know what LI is doing, but I do know that it's much better than WPA. For many of the reasons mentioned around here over the past decade.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2017 at 05:16 PM (#5540390)
As I noted a couple of posts ago, the ballot instructions for the award explicitly define "value" as "strength of offense and defense", and don't say anything about viewing the player's accomplishments within a team-specific context, so that seems to be where your analysis is going off the track.


I'm not sure how adding bonus or subtracting bonus for clutchiness, is not a strength of offense measure.

Not that I support the WPA argument, as 26 points out, there is too many other variables involved in any one game that the player might have altered or created his clutch situation by being poor in other just as meaningful, but not so 'clutchy' situations. But it doesn't seem unreasonable to incorporate a situational hitting aspect into judging a players offense. (RBI was the default for that, but we are smarter now, and hopefully able to come up with better stat numbers that do that and can eventually properly evaluate their value in context.)
   29. Bote Man Posted: September 27, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5540414)
I've considered WPA and its derivatives to be a junk stat, but thinking about it now an early lead would affect a manager's decisions later in the game differently than would an early deficit. In that light it sounds like WPA/LI would measure...something, but I don't know what.

I know a Nats tweeter who loves to point out that a win in April is just as important as a win in September, contrary to the oft-heard chestnut that "these last games are very important for this team". The Nationals have the luxury of trotting out September call-ups because they have already clinched, while a few other teams are vying for post-season position or even for their very post-season lives for that matter and so manage differently.

So I guess there's an argument to be made there for incorporating WPA in evaluating a player's contribution, but I don't know how it applies to the MVP discussion.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: September 27, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5540436)
One of the issues here is that most team wins, especially most good team wins, are "low leverage." The Indians are good because they blow teams away on a pretty frequent basis which is primarily about leading by 3-4 runs after 5 innings. The Indians are 20-14 in 1-run games, 37-11 in "blowouts" (5+ at b-r). The batters' job is to score early and often. They're not the best team because of that 1-run performance.

The number of 1-run games is reasonably stable across teams. Team quality has some effect on 1-run wins but not hugely. It's the most random of team results yet we fetishize it as the most important and telling.

Leverage has many parents. In G7 last year, did the Cubs "blow" leads of 5-1 and 6-3 or were the Indians "clutch"? Were the Cubs clutch to take the 8-6 lead in the 10th or did they almost "blow" it in the bottom of the inning ... or did the Indians "blow" it, become "clutch," "blow" it again, then became "clutch" again but not quite enough? Or was the narrative mainly just a result of a tired Kluber, a tired Miller and a tired Chapman? (7.2 IP, 8 R, 4 HR out of those guys)

That said, WPA for batters probably works out OK over a long period of time. The main issue for especially raw WPA (not sure about WPA/LI) is closers who generally get to move a game from, say, .75 to 1 just by pitching an inning. Mike Montgomery got 11% WPA for a single batter. (Fowler got -13% for a groundout with a man on 3rd and 2 outs.)

I've never worked through the details of WPA/LI but it's an improvement. I assume it's roughly proportional to a comparison of this batter/pitcher's WPA relative to the average WPA outcome. But it still must be shifting the context-specific value away from the raw WAR value or there'd be no point to it. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I just have no intuitive feel for what it's doing.
   31. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2017 at 06:55 PM (#5540459)
I think the problem is people think that WPA is inviolate. It clearly is not. But I bet it does capture value in some measure - after all, a system (like WAR) in which a walk-off grand slam and a garbage time solo knock are considered equivalent has its own flaws in the "value" game.
   32. BDC Posted: September 27, 2017 at 07:22 PM (#5540475)
If even y'all can't fully explain WPA/LI, it must be something of a black box :)

I wonder if something much simpler, like percentage of runners driven in, isn't a better "tiebreaker" for MVP purposes. Take two MVP contenders with context-independent stats that are very close. If one has significantly more RBIs because there were more teammates on base, that tells you nothing. If one has significantly more RBIs because he hit better with RISP, then he is more valuable for that season. Even if it's dumb luck, even if it assuredly says nothing about their intestinal fortitude or their potential for next year, the results led to more wins for the "clutchier" guy's team, and for that year, he was the MVP.
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: September 27, 2017 at 08:21 PM (#5540530)
If even y'all can't fully explain WPA/LI, it must be something of a black box :)


It's not a black box, it's just that wpa turned me off so much from the original concept that I haven't bothered to look into it, and it's used so infrequently that there is no real desire to learn more about it.

I wonder if something much simpler, like percentage of runners driven in, isn't a better "tiebreaker" for MVP purposes. Take two MVP contenders with context-independent stats that are very close. If one has significantly more RBIs because there were more teammates on base, that tells you nothing. If one has significantly more RBIs because he hit better with RISP, then he is more valuable for that season. Even if it's dumb luck, even if it assuredly says nothing about their intestinal fortitude or their potential for next year, the results led to more wins for the "clutchier" guy's team, and for that year, he was the MVP.


At some point in time in the next 6 weeks, I'm going to finally have time to do a bit of research that I've been promising myself I would do the past year and a half. It's not even complicated, but it is a bit time consuming (my estimate about 20 man hours of work, maybe a bit less) which I'll come up with a series of stats that includes versions of rbi%, rbi opportunity, potential rbi, baserunners advanced etc... basically I'm going to look at every time (regardless of out situation) a player comes up to bat, and the before and after base situation(and runs) It's not going to be scored relative to average, or situation (meaning I don't care about outs nor do I care what the average does in that situation) nor is it going to be based upon base states value, it's going to be fairly simple, just number of potential bases advanced by the batter and the actual number of bases advanced, with a side stat that is limited to strictly runs scored and how much the player figured into it. (I have my afternoon free now, while still having a full time job, so now I can do fun stuff like this)
   34. Leroy Kincaid Posted: September 28, 2017 at 06:52 AM (#5540736)
Leverage has many parents. In G7 last year, did the Cubs "blow" leads of 5-1 and 6-3 or were the Indians "clutch"? Were the Cubs clutch to take the 8-6 lead in the 10th or did they almost "blow" it in the bottom of the inning ... or did the Indians "blow" it, become "clutch," "blow" it again, then became "clutch" again but not quite enough? Or was the narrative mainly just a result of a tired Kluber, a tired Miller and a tired Chapman? (7.2 IP, 8 R, 4 HR out of those guys)


I've heard many times that the last 3 outs are the hardest to get and that this is part of what makes closers so special and valuable. But that would mean that they are also the 3 easiest outs for the offense to avoid. And yet the guy who gets the bloop single in the bottom of 9th is celebrated and named MVP of the game while the same event in the 3rd inning is forgotten, even though that was harder to do, apparently.
   35. Sunday silence Posted: September 28, 2017 at 07:55 AM (#5540744)
The Indians are ..37-11 in "blowouts" (5+ at b-r)


I agree with your other points but is 37-11 even very good given your up by 5?

BUt what you're saying about 1 run games, yeah. This maybe one of the most important concepts of recent SABR research, I forget what its called but good teams typically perform about 10% worse than their win pct in 1 run games and substandard teams perform 10% better. Its crazy but has remained a pretty stable parameter for at least the past 100 years.

What do they call that? pythagorean stretch or something?
   36. Sunday silence Posted: September 28, 2017 at 08:01 AM (#5540745)
If player A hits a first inning home run in game his team wins 1-0, while player B hits a 9th inning HR in a game his team wins 1-0, they both added equal wins to their team, but B gets way more WPA.



I am not sure where the original quote is coming from, your post, 24, doesnt really make a reference to an earlier quote. But anyhow I think the reasoning leaves a little to be desired.

The fallacy here is the phrase "both added equal wins to their team..."

HOw? Player one hits a HR in the first inn. Thats not a win really. In fact it maybe increases his teams chances 6 or 7%. I mean how else do you want to measure wins here? That's all you can say,the games not over right?.

Player 2 hits a 9th inn go ahead HR. That's not a win either. In fact there could be any number of great defensive plays that prevented runs, and in fact may have higher WPA. But if you want to count the odds at that point, yeah he probably gave his team a 75% chance of victory. So however you want to measure the concept of wins, player 2 got his team closer to a win.

Or if you want to say they both provided their team with one run, OK. So what? whats the point?

In fact as I think about it some more (viz: that there could be any number of defensive game savers) perhaps there is another way to look at things. A different stat from WPA if you will.

A, guy1 hits a HR in a 1-0 game, ok that was worth some value. But there were 7 defensive plays that saved one or more runs each time. So guy1 gets like 1/(1+ 7) or 0.125 wins.

And guy2 hits a Hr in a 1-0 game, but there was only one defensive play of any meaning. So he gets 1/2 wins...

It's still a problematical way to look at things, I guess because in game 2, the pitcher basically lets say threw a no hitter struck everyone out. Each KO didnt really change the WPA much, but in toto yeah it did...
   37. Sunday silence Posted: September 28, 2017 at 08:09 AM (#5540747)
I've heard many times that the last 3 outs are the hardest to get


well there's the problem right there. The last time we looked at this, teams were holding leads in the 9th inn. at something like a 93% clip, this was last year. That was league average some teams were even better.

So given the way the game is played with tons of one inn. pitchers, not so much.
   38. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2017 at 08:18 AM (#5540749)
I agree with your other points but is 37-11 even very good given your up by 5?


Up or down by five.
   39. Baldrick Posted: September 28, 2017 at 09:14 AM (#5540770)
Player 2 hits a 9th inn go ahead HR. That's not a win either. In fact there could be any number of great defensive plays that prevented runs, and in fact may have higher WPA. But if you want to count the odds at that point, yeah he probably gave his team a 75% chance of victory. So however you want to measure the concept of wins, player 2 got his team closer to a win.

You're just restating how WPA works, not responding to my objection to it.

Once the game is over, the TIME at which certain events took place in the game is now (basically) immaterial. There are nine innings in which you have a chance to score. The runs count the same regardless of what inning they were in. If you need four runs to win, ALL FOUR are critical. Doesn't matter that one came in the 9th and three came in the 2nd.
   40. Sunday silence Posted: September 28, 2017 at 09:37 AM (#5540790)
Baldrick. I reiterated WPA yes, but my pt. has to do with what you are terming "wins." I dont see where you defined that. Hitting a HR does not win a game, there's lots of other stuff that has to happen. So I dont see what you mean by that.

TIME at which certain events took place in the game is now (basically) immaterial.


They were not immaterial during the game. The same event could have a different impact on the game if it happens at different times.

All your saying is a run still counts as a run, no matter when it scored. OK. So what? What's the pt.? Obviously the timing of stuff has an impact on how the game is played, it has an impact on the odds of winning, it may have an impact on morale, etc.
   41. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 28, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5540794)
The same event could have a different impact on the game if it happens at different times.


So what? Hypotheticals have even less of a place in a MVP debate than WPA does. You're grading players on the run value of what they brought to the table over the course of the season. Full stop.
   42. Sunday silence Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5540832)
one could argue that all these formulas e.g. Runs created, OPS+; WAR are based on hypotheticals. there are certain limitations to the data we are stuck with.
   43. Baldrick Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:34 AM (#5540845)
Baldrick. I reiterated WPA yes, but my pt. has to do with what you are terming "wins." I dont see where you defined that. Hitting a HR does not win a game, there's lots of other stuff that has to happen. So I dont see what you mean by that.

Wins are what happen when you score more runs than the other team.

Of course hitting a HR doesn't win a game. What on earth are you talking about?

Look, WPA is a probabilistic stat. It tells us how much something is worth at the moment it happens based on the assumption that future events are random. In the fog of the moment, we don't KNOW whether a first inning home run will be the decider in a 1-0 game, whether it will be one of four crucial runs in a 4-3 game, or whether it will be a pointless consolation in a 13-3 loss. But once the game is over, we know all of that. The future is no longer indeterminate and we no longer have to guess. The game is a completed story.

WPA assigns greater and lesser weight to events based on when they occur because it has less information than we have.
   44. PreservedFish Posted: September 28, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5540851)
And that's exactly why people see it as a nice proxy for clutchness.

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